KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — More than 200 people got a peek inside the high-tech cloud storage of DataChambers facility near the N.C. Research Campus on Tuesday.
Guests at an open house ceremony got to see first-hand the more than $10 million project.
Castle & Cooke built the location for DataChambers, a company specializing in cloud and information storage as well as IT management. DataChambers will lease the property from Castle & Cooke.
The open house and ribbon cutting, which was held Tuesday, included officials from Cabarrus County, the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce, the City of Kannapolis and other local dignitaries, including Darrell Hinnant, Kannapolis mayor.
Visitors were able to tour the 50,000-square-foot data center, which was built to help serve the data storage and management needs of the North Carolina Research Campus and businesses in the Charlotte region.
DataChambers, which is based in North Carolina, now has four data centers, including two in Winston-Salem and one in Raleigh. The company serves customers nationwide, including Seattle, Wash.; Phoenix, Ariz.; New York, Boston and other areas.
“We are very thankful that DataChambers and North State Communications decided to invest in Kannapolis,” Hinnant said. “This opportunity is going to be bigger than just Kannapolis. It’s going to be an opportunity that’s going to reach into the depths of the world. This will be a global center. It will have opportunities to make things happen around the world and to think about that being right here in little old Kannapolis is astounding.”
Hinnant was one of many visitors who were able to go on a tour of DataChambers and see how secure the business is. For starters, the building can handle a category three hurricane.
“One hundred thirty-five mile an hour consistent winds, 160 miles an hour wind bursts — that building will stay standing,” said Brian Cesca, general manger for the Charlotte region of DataChambers.
The building is designed to protect the servers used to store information for the various DataChambers clients. The building is also secure from people just walking in. For starters, to even enter the building you need a key card.
Then, once one door opens, the next door will not open until the previous door closes. On top of that there are also eye scanners, provided by the EyeLock company, that map out a person’s iris, which doesn’t change from birth to death. A person’s iris has 240 unique points of identification, Cesca said.
“And the studies they’ve done and the trade shows they’ve gone to, they’ve proven that that technology is only second to DNA testing,” Cesca said.
Cesca added that only employees have access to the iris scanning technology and key cards.
“So nobody is coming into our facility that we don’t know is coming in.”
But why set up in Kannapolis in order to have a presence in the Charlotte region?
“Quite frankly, when we evaluated the opportunity for growth in Kannapolis versus the stuff that going on in Charlotte, we felt that this was much more of a showcase area to be versus the opportunities in Charlotte,” Cesca said, citing the city’s plan to revitalize downtown.
He added that DataChambers could attract businesses to set up downtown, with companies wanting to be near their servers, but not necessarily in the same building.
“Coming in here, as this place gets revitalized, I think it’s got a great feel to it,” Cesca said. “When I bring … CEOs, heads of technology to this area and into downtown Kannapolis I can say, ‘You can go around the corner and walk over to the data center from here.’”
Other advantages Kannapolis offered are lower costs and a lower terrorist threat assessment.
Plus, thanks to power infrastructure from the old Cannon Mills plant, DataChambers is wired into a substation near the Research Campus.
“First and foremost, it’s all about risk mitigation,” Cesca said. “So, we wanted to have an opportunity to do business with companies that are focused in Charlotte, that are focused in Cabarrus County, that are focused in Rowan and ultimately companies in the Triad area, where we’ve got some of our long term existing companies that want to expand.”
Contact reporter Michael Knox at 704-789-9133.